Payoneer vs Wise

The most complete review of Wise vs Payoneer in April 2021

Here's a painful truth: it actually takes a lot of your resources to send money abroad and there can be many pitfalls when using international payments given that there are currencies, exchange rates, and transfer fees you need to consider.

 And the need for overseas money transfers is rapidly increasing, especially since the world it an online business model, and international money transfer is a big part of that.
And the need for overseas money transfers is rapidly increasing, especially since the world it an online business model, and international money transfer is a big part of that.
What payment gateway will you use for global payments for your business?

 There are many choices for your payment option. For example, local bank, direct deposit, local currency, online money transfer, transferwise card, payoneer card all offering a good payment solution.

One of the best is the transferwise borderless account which makes it easier for you to operate globally.

In this article, we leave behind your local bank and compare Payoneer and Wise for cross border payments.

TLDR: transferwise vs payoneer both have great security and cusomer service and really are a viable alternative to paypal.

So, let us start to dig deeper by getting to know more about Payoneer and TransferWise. (Now renamed Wise) and they are certainly better than the old wire transfer method or a paypal account.

Also read our review on the safest way to pay on Alibaba.

currency exchange
Currency Exchange And More

Payoneer vs TransferWise

These are the highlights of these two money transfer companies:


  • Can be used as a bank account
  • Supports 150 currencies
  • No additional charges for making payments
  • Transfers allowed only for private accounts
  • Allows transfer only to other Payoneer account
  • Business clients provided with Mastercard
  • Debit card payments possible
  • Minimal transaction fee
  • Credit card payment options


  • Provides support for 4 currencies (SD, EUR, GBP, and AUD)
  • A minimum fee charged for money transfers
  • Money transfers are completed within 1-4 days
  • Peer-to-Peer Money Transfer Service
  • Allows carrying bulk payments for up to a maximum of 1000 recipients at a time.
  • Exchange rates are fetched from Reuters mid-market rates
  • Minimal transaction fee
  • Credit card payment options
  • provide online bank details
  • Supports payments through debit card, bank transfers, SWIFT payment, and Apple Pay, etc.

Who owns Payoneer? (Background of Payoneer)

Yuval Tal is the founder and owner of Payoneer. He founded it in 2005 with this vision:

"Empowers global commerce by connecting businesses, professionals, countries, and currencies with its innovative cross-border payments platform."

Before establishing Payoneer, Yuvav once started Borderfree, a startup company that allows retailers to make an international exchanges by giving solutions to payment and logistics problems associated with international retail sales. In 2015, Borderfree was listed on the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) and was bought by Pitney Bowes, which eventually lead Yuvav to leave the company.

Now, Payoneer has crossed several borders around the world and became a company that succeeds in the digital world. It is their mission to streamline global commerce for millions of small businesses, marketplaces, and enterprises from 200 countries and territories.

The recent success of the company was in February 2021. It entered into a definitive merger agreement with FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: FTOCU) in a transaction that would result in Payoneer becoming a U.S. publicly listed entity.

Payoneer low fees
Payoneer low fees

Who owns TransferWise? (Background of TransferWise)

TransferWise (Wise) is owned by CEO Kristo Kaarmann. He is the co-founder of the company along with Taavet Hinrikus, who is also a co-founder of Skype back in 2003. These two financial gurus started in 2010 with impressive backgrounds in business and finance. Until then, the two combined their skills and knowledge to start a company that focuses on accurate exchange rates, which is TransferWise or now called, Wise.

In 2011, they launched TransferWise with a vision of making international money transfers cheap(low fee), fair, and simple. Taavet and Kristo both knew the problem back then - expensive fees and bad exchange rates. Really it was a new world currency exchange. To deal with this, they started testing the waters by looking up the exchange rates on Reuters every month. Taavet deposits his euro into Kristo's Estonian bank account and Kristo deposits again to Taavet's UK account using his pounds.

Until then, both got the currency they needed in an instant and neither paid an extra cost on unreasonable charges and bad exchange rates. Now, TransferWise (Wise) has developed into more than just money transfer services. It has added a debit card, business card, and a multi-currency account. It has partnered with several banks and companies across the world like GoCardless, Monzo, PayPal, Bolt, and many more and offers lower fees to its users.

Though the company name has changed, it still has the same mission:

"Helping people manage their money internationally more cheaply, quickly, and transparently."

Which is easier to use? (User-friendliness)

When it comes to online platforms, usability becomes the top main concern because not everyone is savvy enough in using computers and mobile phones. Now, both Payoneer and TransferWise have made sure that their sign-up and transaction processes are as simple as possible.


Dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android users are available to make it more convenient in transferring money. Countries like India, the Philippines, and Pakistan are among the freelance developers that use Payoneer. Here are the other things why Payoneer is easy to use for money transfer

  • Registration can be done as a business unit or individual.
  • It offers multilingual websites and apps in English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Korean.
  • Available in iOS and Android apps.
  • cash withdrawal
  • fixed fee
  • low currency conversion charge


TransferWise is also as easy as Payoneer. Anyone who is computer literate can use this without any hassle. The interface they use spells out everything for you. Instructions and texts are made available and are very easy to comprehend.

  • The registration process can be done as a business unit or individually.
  • It offers multilingual websites and apps in English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Hungarian, Russian, Portuguese, and Italian.
  • Available in iOS and Android apps.

Which is cheaper? (Transfer Fees)

Fees are extremely important, especially when you are outsourcing people from different countries. Here are the differences in fees:


Payoneer charges different fees depending on what your transaction is. Take note of these:

  • Payments and receiving of money are free within Payoneer to Payoneer accounts.
  • There is a 2.5% currency conversion fee if you use your Payoneer Mastercard to transact in non-listed currency.
  • A 1% fee is charged upon receiving USD e-checks.
  • A 1% fee is charged for receiving payments through Global Payments Service.
  • Withdrawing funds from a Payoneer account or transfer to another local bank account can have charges based on the currency involved.
  • A 0.5% fee is charged when you withdraw Payoneer funds from your local bank account.


TransferWise provides a fee calculator which can be easily used to determine the expected amount you are going to pay when transacting. Again, fees will differ when sending money and transacting via a multi-currency account.

  • Fees for adding money, deposits, and balance check from the TransferWise Borderless accounts are free.
  • The percentage of fees will depend on the currency of the destination country.
  • Fees for withdrawing funds will depend on the conversion rate of the two different currencies.
Payoneer fees

Which has more competitive exchange rates?

Take note that exchange rates will be based on the financial market deals as well as the daily market fluctuations, hence making it difficult to predict the exact exchange rates. So, before making a payment, it is best that you check the exchange rates of both currencies. The only thing that is sure that both Payoneer and TransferWise have competitive rates.


Payoneer's exchange rates are based on the market's average rates. Here are the things that you should know more:

  • A 2% to 2.75% currency conversion fee is usually charged to some countries.
  • Fees are charged when using a Payoneer Mastercard at non-listed companies.
  • A 0.5% fee is charged when you exchange from one currency to another.
  • Offers a 1.2% VIP fee when you want to withdraw funds from Payoneer to a bank account in a different currency.


Just like Payoneer, TransferWise also uses the market's average rates as well as interbank rate and spot rate as a basis for their exchange rates. Here's what you need to know:

  • Their exchange rates are always closer to the average market rates.
  • Offers an overview of the exchange rate fluctuations to let you decide when to conduct a transaction.
  • Has a "Guaranteed Rate" feature, which automatically locks the exchange rates for a specified time frame. 72 hours for Brazilian Reals, 48 hours for selected countries, and 24 hours for most countries.

Which is faster? (Transfer Speed)

The speed at which you can send and receive funds is also as important as the cost of using the money transfer. Here are the differences in Payoneer and TransferWise's transfer speed but take note that it is also dependent on the currency you've chosen.


Mostly, it takes about 2 to 3 days if you choose to transfer from Payoneer to a bank account though the company has given the allowance of up to 5 days. However, there are instances that it would take an instant or even delayed for a day or two. For example, transfers from online market places to Payoneer come in an instant but transfers during the holidays may be delayed.


TransferWise, on the other hand, is much faster than Payoneer. For example, when sending funds to Brazil, it only takes 8 hours while sending funds to the Philippines will be received instantly.

Which allows multi-currency accounts?

Muti-currency accounts are offered in both Payoneer and TransferWise. Let's take a look at their differences and advantages.


Payoneer allows multi-currency including CAD, EUR, JPY, and GBP, which are all done via Global Payments Services. This needs to be paid with a monthly maintenance fee for your account if you want to keep it active. Also, Payoneer will charge 1% for USD transactions whole EUR, GBY, and JPY transactions are for free.

Moreover, if you use platforms like Amazon, Upwork, Airbnb, and Fiverr, know that you can use these to receive funds using a multi-currency account from Payoneer.


Transferwise will also allow you to transact funds in multiple currencies like USD, GBR, AUD, NZD, and EUR using a multi-currency account.

Take note that when making swift transfers to USD bank accounts, you need to include Transfer FBOs. However, borderless accounts do not support selective states like Hawaii and Nevada. You can check all the supported countries on their website.

One other note, maintaining accounts and receiving payments, wise does not charge any fee including those transactions on Stripe and Amazon.

Which offers prepaid cards?

Prepaid cards or debit cards are both offered by Payoneer and TransferWise. However, they have differences and advantages. Take a look at the details below to know more.


Payoneer has restrictions for withdrawal and spending limits for their prepaid or debit cards. Currency conversion and ATM withdrawals will be charged. Also, a Payoneer business user will receive a prepaid MasterCard that will charge an annual maintenance fee, too.


For TransferWise, the borderless account users and residents of the United Kingdom will be provided with a prepaid or debit MasterCard. In addition, conversion charges will be added if you will be transacting in a different currency. Free charges are given to those who withdraw funds at an ATM but only up to a certain amount every month. So, if you are shopping both online and offline, TransferWise prepaid cards can be easily used.

Which is more secure?

Both Payoneer and Transferwise secure their users by using advanced encryption technology and a protection system to prevent the leaking of data from cybercriminals. Reputable organizations have spoken about their credibility which has also given them several certifications. So far, these two money transfers have not encountered hacking, leaking, or any security problems involving their users.


Payoneer is a member of Initial Covenant bank, FDIC, and is also approved by Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, which is a trusted regulator for financial services. Also, the banks behind the Payoneer MasterCard are Choice Bank Limited and Wirecard Solutions - both are credible and committed.

Moreover, Payoneer is a fully regulated US company that is registered as a US Money Service Business or MSB. They have also proven to have a high standard of security since they are certified at a PCI level 1 Data Security Standard.

Virus detections system and firewalls are also present as physical security to prevent hacking, fraud, phishing schemes, identity theft, tampering, and other attacks.


TransferWise is also approved and regulated b the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. This UK-based money transfer is governed by the Town Federal Savings Bank and is a licensed money transmitter.

Transparency is also a priority of TransferWise. If you will observe, you will always know where your money is during the transactions. The company shows transparency by giving information like sending an email every step of the transmission. Also, the easy-to-use mobile application and website are accessible if you want to track your transmissions.

And just like Payoneer, it also has a virus detection system and firewall to protect its users from attacks from cybercriminals.

Payoneer vs Transferwise (Wise) FAQs

Can you transfer money from Payoneer to TransferWise?

Certainly! You can add Transferwise as a bank account and send funds from Payoneer via bank transfer.

Can you withdraw money from Transferwise?

Yes. TransferWise offers you a debit MasterCard, which will allow you to withdraw money.

Can you withdraw money from Payoneer?

Yes. Just like TransferWise, Payoneer also offers debit MasterCard that will allow you to withdraw money.

What bank does Payoneer use?

Payoneer uses MasterCard are Choice Bank Limited and Wirecard Solutions.

What bank does TransferWise use?

TransferWise uses Community Federal Savings Bank, which is a member of FDIC and the one responsible for issuing the TransferWise debit Mastercard.

What is Payoneer's annual fee?

Payoneer's annual fee will cost $29.95 from your account to keep your account open for 12 months.

What is TransferWise's annual fee?

TransferWise charges no annual card fee. In other words, your account can be activated all year round with no charges.

Transferwise vs Payoneer - which is better for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)?

TransferWise is better for FBA since it has a faster transfer speed, a cheaper transfer fee, and has borderless accounts to cater to your worldwide selling practices.

Payoneer vs TransferWise (Wise) - What's The Best Option?

As mentioned above, a TransferWise account has a minimal transfer cost and takes zero annual fees for account maintenance. However, Payoneer will allow you to save more money and effort if you want to transact globally.

If you compare all the rates and fees of these two money transfer companies, many people would prefer to use these because of their cheaper fees and convenience. Unlike the local banks, these two would only require the recipient's details for your transaction either accepting or receiving payments. These are certainly a viable paypal alternative.

Essie has 2 children and a passion of hers is teaching them online safety. She enjoys writing about technology and security and presenting complex topics so they can be understood by all.
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